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Relaxed portraits of a modern royal family on display in London

posted 3 Oct 2012, 10:14 by Mpelembe   [ updated 3 Oct 2012, 10:17 ]

Mario Testino portraits of Prince William and Harry, Kate Middleton go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, showcasing Testino's ability to portray the royal family in a relaxed and modern way.

 LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 3, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Relaxed, modern images of the British royal family taken by famed photographer Mario Testino went on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Wednesday (October 3).

The small exhibit contains just eight portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton, before they were married, Prince Harry and Prince Charles and his wife, Camillathe Duchess of Cornwall.

The portraits were either commissioned by the royal family for special occasions, taken by Testino in an unguarded moment or commissioned by British Vogue magazine.

The most famous are the two official engagement photographs of Prince William and Kate, taken in 2010.

The couple are posing for the camera, but Testino manages to create a relaxed and intimate feel to these traditional royal images.

"I think what Mario Testino has brought to the tradition of royal portraiture is remarkable, because he has really emphasised their modernity and their sense of informality, but also maintained that sense of dignity and classic pose that you get in royal portraiture and it is that combination which he has achieved so successfully, I think is what the public have really come to love," said Neil Evans, spokesman for the National Portrait Gallery.

A portrait of Prince Harry in sports gear was commissioned in 2005 for his 21st birthday. There's also a picture of Prince Charles with his two sons, taken in 2004 for the family's official Christmas cards.

Peruvian Mario Testino has had a long relationship with the royal family and is well known for his pioneering portraits of Diana, Princess of Wales, in relaxed poses - a relatively new phenomenon for the royals at the time.